Off-duty employees gone wild: Is your crisis plan comprehensive?

It’s guilt by association. What staffers do during their own time can damage your organization’s reputation, especially with social media accelerating public outrage. Are you prepared?

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When communicators plan for an unforeseen PR disaster, they list scenarios that could damage their organization’s reputation.

Often, these plans cover how the brand would respond if a senior executive was accused of sexual harassment or got into a car accident while drunk.

However, many companies still leave themselves vulnerable to reputational risk by failing to consider a massive blind spot: their rank-and-file employees’ bad behavior outside work hours.

Before Facebook and Twitter enabled people to reach almost any brand, companies could at least claim that an employee’s inappropriate or offensive behavior on their own time was exactly that: their own, outside the company’s control.

Now, with the public just a few keystrokes away from expressing outrage publicly and in real time, the game has changed. Organizations have to be prepared to act quickly and decisively if a rogue worker’s actions threaten the brand.

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